Co-designing Virtual Reality to Promote Exercise with People Living with Dementia

Virtual Reality Exergames

Virtual reality (VR) is rapidly gaining attention as an interesting and fun way for people to engage in everything from exercise to travel documentaries to social games. Dr. Jennifer Boger is a researcher with UBCO’s Aging-in-Place Cluster who is exploring how to create VR games for promoting exercise (exergames) that are fun, accessible, and relevant for people living with dementia.

In her work that was recently published in JMIR Serious Games, Dr. Boger’s research group took a co-creation approach, where they worked directly with people living with dementia, exercise professionals, and game designers as a team. Together they created Seas the Day, which uses the theme of a visit to the ocean to gamify exercises that are beneficial to maintaining mobility and cognition. By exploring, building in, and testing the interests and needs of both people living with dementia and exercise therapists, Seas the Day challenges stereotypes with older adults living with dementia as game designers and early users of an emerging technology.

Dr. Boger is continuing to explore novel uses of VR – her latest interest is in how to use VR to foster intergenerational gameplay between older adults and younger ones.

Read the full open-access article in JMIR Serious Games.



The Importance of Balance

The Importance of Balance

Cluster faculty member Brian Dalton was recently featured on Global News BC The Morning Show to discuss his research on balance and aging.

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